The Freeview service consists of over 50 digital television channels and includes several interactive features such as recording and pausing live television. The appeal of Freeview over satellite television packages such as Sky is that there is no contract or monthly subscription. Customers pay a one-off charge for a Freeview box. With the right equipment, Freeview channels can also be viewed on a laptop without the need to purchase a Freeview box, provided the area has Freeview coverage and the aerial signal is strong enough.
Purchase a USB box, available from all computer supply shops and online.
Insert the CD that came with your USB box into the disc drive of your laptop. This contains the software you need to install. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation procedure. If you do not have a CD, visit the manufacturer's website and follow the instructions to download the latest version of the software.
Plug the USB box into your roof-mounted aerial connection.
Attach the USB cable to your laptop's USB port.
Start the "Digital TV" software on your laptop. Scan for Freeview channels. Be prepared to wait several minutes for the scan to complete.
Select the Freeview channel you want to watch on your laptop.
When browsing Freeview channels on your laptop, remember that the channel numbers are not the standard Freeview ones that you would have on your television.
Use your laptop as a personal video recorder by recording your favourite Freeview programmes. The software on your laptop will save them as .mpg files.